The health benefits and risks of cannabis

People have promoted the health benefits of cannabis/marijuana for decades. That has been a factor in the loosening of marijuana use restrictions in the United States in recent years. And yet, restrictions at the Federal and some State levels remain intact. What does research actually say about the benefits and risks of medical cannabis? Is there actual evidence or are the reports largely anecdotal? Featured…

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Microplastics: impacts on the environment and human health

Hundreds of millions of tons of plastics are produced each year. Millions of those tons enter our air, soil, and water as waste. As waste, some of this material–still many millions of tons–breaks down into smaller particles, or microplastics (< 5 mm in size); microplastics come from many sources including the manufacture of industrial products and the physical, chemical, and biological breakdown of larger pieces…

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Ransomware: malware and cybercrime

What exactly is ransomware? And what happens in a ransomware attack? What does research say about ransomware and the pervasive and increasing threat and damage caused by cybercrime? Featured articles (these articles have been added to the Science Primary Literature database): *Bae, S. I., Gyu, B. L., & Im, E. G. (2020). Ransomware detection using machine learning algorithms. Concurrency and Computation, 32(18), e5422. [Cited by]…

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Brown fat

Brown adipose tissue/brown fat

Brown adipose tissue, or brown fat, is a type of fat cell that converts energy into body heat when food is eaten and digested, as opposed to white adipose tissue, or white fat, that is more plentiful and accumulates in noticeable parts of the body (for example, the belly) when too many calories are consumed and too few are expended through exercise. White fat is…

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Drought in California

Water, drought, and the western United States

The western United States (including parts of the Great Plains) is going through an historic period of drought–a level of extended drought that the region has not seen in potentially hundreds of years. “All told, nearly 85% of the West is suffering through drought conditions right now, according to the US Drought Monitor. Almost half the region is now in an extreme or exceptional drought,…

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Climate change and human migration

Background: Hundreds of millions of climate migrants likely by 2050 Lustgarten, Abrahm (2020, July 23). The Great Climate Migration. New York Times Magazine. [Cited by] Migration due to climate change is already happening in the United States The research: *Koubi, V., Böhmelt, T., Spilker, G., & Schaffer, L. (2018). The determinants of environmental migrants’ conflict perception. International Organization, 72(4), 905-936. [PDF] [Cited by] “Migration is…

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